Medical Oncology in the East of England

Medical Oncologists supervise and are responsible for the treatment delivered to patients with cancer.  This includes discussing various treatment modalities/ options and managing systemic anti cancer therapy.  The specialty continues to evolve as patients live longer and systemic treatments have become more complex.   

Medical Oncology training first became available in the East of England Multi-Professional Deanery in January 1997, with the appointment of two Medical Oncology consultants at Addenbrooke's Hospital. The training programme in Medical Oncology received educational approval from the Specialist Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) during 1997, and the programme was approved for the training of SpRs/StRs.  Many posts are University appointments, with the majority of NHS consultants holding "honorary" contracts with the University of Cambridge.  This close integration between the NHS department and University of Cambridge supports excellence in patient care and world leading research.

As would be expected, given the size and impact of research occurring within region (see research tab) our training programme has a strong academic component with research opportunities for NTN post holders and many opportujnities for NTN(A), integrated academic career path, posts (from AFY through to ACL).  Cambridge was awarded Cancer Research UK Major Centre status, one of only two in the UK.  A priority of the Centre is to train the cancer research leaders of the future.

We would like to hear from prospective trainees and informal visits are encouraged, if this is not feasible Dr Pacey (TPD and Academic Training Lead) would be delighted to explain the benefits of training within the East of England, the fantastic opportunities to conduct research and answer any questions not outlined on these web pages.  Equally our trainees, via our trainee representative can also be contacted.  Please use the contacts tab to get in touch.

News - increase in East of England NTN posts, including an exciting new training location at West Suffolk hospital. Please contact TPD (Simon Pacey) with any questions



The Anglia Cancer Research Network has one of the strongest track records in the UK for recruiting patients into clinical trials.  Many of these patients are treated at Addenbrookes, within the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre led by Professor Duncan Jodrell.  More recently Cambridge is developing as an early phase clinical trials centre (Dr's Basu, Baird and Pacey).  This means trainees benefit from extensive exposure to clinical trial methodology.  Mentoring from senior investigators is strongly encouraged, ideally including taking responsibility for one or two trials beyond individual rotations over the four year training period.  Many trainees have attended the ASCO/AACR/EORTC Clinical Trials Methodology workshop and work, with support, to write and develop investigator led studies.  Clinical trial research activity is supported by the Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

Cambridge  is in a unique position in the UK to develop translational research, given the high density of basic cancer research on site at Addenbrooke's the new CRUK Cambridge Research Institute, the MRC Hutchison Cancer Research Unit and opportunities in the University of Cambridge.  The breadth and depth of scientific expertise available in Cambridge is unrivaled in Europe.

The Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre is organised into twelve research programmes which provide excellence across the spectrum from basic biology in the particular cancer type, through translational research and on to clinical practice.  All benefit from the core scientific strengths including bioinformatics and cancer genetics, a highly successful cancer trials centre and a cancer network based in the region with the fastest population growth in the UK.

Extensive opportunities to pursue research exist within the CR UK Cambridge Cancer Centre, see webpage here.  

The Cambridge biomedical campus has been expanding rapidly (see below and here), including bringing Papworth Hospital on site as well as major pharmaceutical company investment (Astra Zeneca) further increasing opportunities for research and collaborations to improve the lives of patients with cancer.



Integration with Clinical Oncology

There is excellent integration with the clinical oncologists within a shared weekly audit and academic session, which includes case presentations, x-ray meetings, pathology meetings, journal clubs, audits and invited lectures, together with a rolling programme of "translational talks".  The medical and clinical oncologists have the same on-call rota and cover each other's patients when on call.  There are a number of joint clinics attended by both clinical and medical oncologists, and there is good collaboration between the two disciplines.  There is ample opportunity for the medical oncology trainees to obtain experience in radiotherapy treatment.  Multi-disciplinary teams in many cancer sites facilitate and promote close collaborative working relationships.  The region is well placed to take advantage of the proposed joint ST3 curriculum for medical and clinical oncology following the shape of training discussions.

Useful Links & Helpful Info

Useful links



JRCPTB Medical Oncology Curriculum (2017):  

Medical Oncology Decision Aid (2017) 



JRCPTB (Joint Royal College of Physician Training Board): You will need to register with the JRCPTB to activate your eportfolio.

Your E-portfolio will be assessed at ARCP. I would highly recommend keeping it up to date. ARCP normally takes place in September.



See decision aid above.


Helpful websites

Detailed guidance on the Medical Oncology assessment blueprint is available from the JRCPTB website.

Association of Cancer Physicians:

Cancer Physicians in Training:

European Society for Medical Oncology:

American Society for Medical Oncology:

SCE Exam:

Thursday, 1 October, 2020
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